Tar Heels give Williams win No. 700; Jayhawks up next

No. 8-seeded North Carolina’s 78-71 victory over No. 9 seed Villanova on Friday set up an NCAA Tournament matchup with Kansas on Sunday.

It also was North Carolina coach Roy Williams’ 700th career win, with 418 coming in 15 years at Kansas.

“Number 700 means I’ve been coaching a really long time with some really good players,” Williams said. “I’m extremely excited for number 25 this year. I didn’t mention 700 to the players. Twenty-five is nice for this team.”

Williams wasn’t interested in talking about the next round, but he was pleased the historic win came in Kansas City.

“I’m human,” he said. “I wanted to get 700. I’d like to get 800, 900, 1,000, 1,500, but I know that’s not going to happen. My focus was not on that. But if it is going to happen, you’d like for it to happen at home where all your family and friends can be there. But if I was going to choose another place, this is a fantastic place.”

The Tar Heels (25-10) shot 11-of-21 (54 percent) from 3-point range, first to get a big lead in the first half, and then to respond when Villanova took the lead in the second. North Carolina went on a 15-0 run midway through the first half to take a comfortable lead. Leading 15-11, the Tar Heels hit three 3-point shots, a couple of layups and two free throws to seize control of the game.

P.J. Hairston led four North Carolina players in double figures with 23 points, while going 5-of-8 from 3-point range. James Michael McAdoo had 17 points, Reggie Bullock had 15 and Paige had 14.

Williams wasn’t the only one reaching some big numbers with the win. North Carolina made its 44th appearance in the NCAA Tournament this year. The Tar Heels’ 151 games and 109 wins rank second all-time behind Kentucky. The Tar Heels have advanced to 18 Final Fours (most all-time) and have won the national championship five times, the most recent being in 2009.

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